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Thread: Struggle with the economy? Any tips or hints?

  1. #1
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Struggle with the economy? Any tips or hints?

    Is it just me or are things, prices especially, seem to be getting worse? I have a fixed income which a couple of years ago was quite enough for my needs and wants but no more. I have stopped buying fabric unless it is really needed for a project and am using my scraps and stash. I no longer buy patterns, no more magazines, I use free ones I find on the internet. I have reduced the amount spent on groceries, clip coupons, only buy on sale items, plan errands to save on gas, etc. Haven't had any new clothing item in forever it seems. Forgot what it is like to eat out and going to a movie is a thing of the past.

    I thought the wonderful folks here on the board would have some tips and tricks they are using to save money and make things stretch, not just sewing related but everything related. If so, please share with us.
    Jeanann

    PROQUILTINATING : Working on quilting when you should be cleaning, doing laundry, or cooking.

  2. #2
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    My husband and I consolidate our errands. Our COAG clinic is really good about this. Our monthly appts. are scheduled around our times. We do our grocery shopping twice a month, fill both trucks up (around here in the winter it's a good idea to have a full tank at all times.) Our big projects are budgeted weeks in advance. We take a little out of each pay period and set it aside until we have what we need. Most important of all the bills get paid first, savings next and the rest is play money..lol
    Everyone is born right handed, only the gifted overcome it.
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  3. #3
    Super Member owlvamp's Avatar
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    I know what you . The same here. Even gas is so high and I make a trip to pick up the grandkids and daughter from college once a week. It's crazy and I save where I can for the extra gas I spend. I clip coupons and usually only check out the ads to see what is on sale. I haven't bought clothes or shoes for myself in years . Sad but true. We don't splurge or even go to movies. I don't like living this way. I use old sheets and plastic bags to make yarn and crochet with. It's cool. But would love to buy some new yarn. I use old clothes for quilts and use pants too!
    The fabric I see on here makes me yearn for some. But on such a tight budget I don't. I just tell myself one day. I have a little bit and will use that first and move on. If I do t need to leave the house I ask my husband to stop at the store on his way home. ( he stays to the list) LOL. We shop once a week or every two weeks depends on what we need. So I would love to see what every one says.
    Last edited by owlvamp; 01-28-2013 at 09:04 AM.
    Sandra
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  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Times are definitely getting tougher for folks on a fixed income. All of your suggestions are good ones.
    As we used to do when I was a kid, I change my 'good' clothes as soon as I come home and wear old clothes when no company is expected. I wear clothes more than once, cuts down on the laundry. I wash out the Swiffer cloths and use them over again many times. If I use a paper towel for just a little 'wet' task, then I save it for wiping up the floor. I use the HandiWipes wa-a-a-ay longer than recommended, throwing them in the washer every time I run it. If paper napkins are set at the table and not used, I'll use them again. There are lots of examples of things that my depression era folks taught me when I was little that I incorporate now.
    Nancy in western NY

  5. #5
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    We do most of these ideas as we are new to retirement and the fixed income. (Very scary!)

    For relatively cheap fabric for quilting - shop yard sales and Goodwill. Sometimes I find bags or boxes of fabric, but more often I find good clothes, mostly men's shirts that can be cut up and used in quilting projects. Prices at yard sales can be in a large range, but it is $4 for a men's shirt at Goodwill. BUT - after the items ar in the store for a few weeks, they get marked down to half price, then to $1 the following week. That is the only time I buy the clothes for quilting at Goodwill - when they are $1. You can get the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 yards of fabric from a large to XXL man's shirt. I am very fussy when choosing shirts from Goodwill - only 100% cotton, with no or very little wear to them and only in colors or a pattern I really love.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lois-nounoe's Avatar
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    My hubby and I are getting $7 less a month on our SSA now! Cost of things are still going up and cost of feed for our horses and chickens are going up with the cost of corn prices. We do not go out to eat unless it is lunch after doctor visits which are many due to a health problem I developed in Sept. Always ask for senior discounts cause they don't just give them to you! Go at least once a week and it's 23 miles away. Gas is going up too. Haven't been to a movie for 30 yrs and we don't drink, smoke or have any other habits that cost anything. It is by careful planning and lots of prayers that get us through from check to check. Can't wait till Spring and Summer when we grow our own tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, and even cantalope and watermelons! Saves a lot that way.

  7. #7
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    I've always been frugal but I am glad I have a good stash to work from. I only purchase fabric for backs or borders. The expense that really takes a chunk out my budget are dentist visits since retirement. We used to have partial coverage but now $200 to $300 a visit makes me sick. Why do all the expenses of growing older have to come when your income is getting smaller? When they say trim the fat from the budget....I say I'm already cutting down to the bare bones.

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    One thing I do is purchase White Rain hair conditioner at the Dollar Store and use that to shampoo my hair. A $1 plastic bottle lasts about a month, using it daily. What I discovered is that shampoo actually irritates my scalp. Before switching to conditioner only, I had itchy bumps (almost like acne). Some conditioners contain the irritating ingredients; White Rain is a safe choice and saves money too.

    We rarely eat red meat anymore. This was a health and environmental choice, but it does save us quite a bit at the grocery store. We vary homemade meals among fish, chicken, and vegetarian choices.

    It helps a lot to cook from scratch. We rarely buy cereal; dh cooks his own oatmeal (from the large cannister) for breakfast. If we ate more bread, I would make homemade bread once a week. Coffee is my expensive vice. I buy coffee beans from Sam's Club, grind it daily, and make a thermos of coffee for myself a day. Tagged the coffee beans once, and figured it costs about $1 a day. Even McDonald's coffee is expensive compared to my homemade.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    We are both still able to work and end of last year and so far this year we have had to spend lots of money on home repairs. When it is all done we will be able to spend alot less to live and should be able to make it the rest of our lives without spending more. We don't waste much money on luxuries and never have.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  10. #10
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Some good ideas. Keep them coming please. Never heard of washing your hair with conditioner, doesn't it get greasy? I shop more and more at the Dollar Tree. I have been developing a list of things I purchase on a regular basis like toilet paper, dish soap, trashbags, can goods, dry foods, etc., how much I use in a month, and what it costs at each store. I am getting to know what to buy where unless I find a great sale. Example, my 12 yo likes koolaid. I found I can get a package with 12 envelopes at dollar general for 1.00, while at WinDixie it is like .30 for each envelope. Lois-nounoe, I have the world's blackest thumb, I can't get anything to grow and I have tried many times. Wish I could grow my own foods, especially tomatoes, I just love tomatoes. I live in the country, have plenty of area to work with, just can't. Have 2 freezers I could use and lots of pantry space.
    Last edited by ontheriver; 01-28-2013 at 12:17 PM.
    Jeanann

    PROQUILTINATING : Working on quilting when you should be cleaning, doing laundry, or cooking.

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